The new motto at UConn is “all in.”
No, the Huskies aren’t playing poker, but they are playing The Cards…tonight at 7 in Louisville (ehhhhhhh).
A few things to watch in tonight’s clash:
* Louisville big man Gorgui Dieng, who leads the Big East and ranks fifth in the nation with 3.5 blocks per game, will be a game-time decision with a sprained right ankle, according to The Louisville Courier-Journal. Needless to say, that could drastically change things tonight. Louisville normally uses seven players in its rotation. If Dieng has to sit, the Cards will be incredibly undermanned, especially inside.
* UConn sophomore Jeremy Lamb was one of 20 players named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List. The USBWA selects the winner (national player of the year) on March 30. Lamb and West Virginia forward Kevin Jones were the only two Big East players nominated. Check out the full list.
UConn at Louisville
WHEN: Tonight, 7
WHERE: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville
RECORDS: UConn 15-7, 5-5 Big East; Louisville 18-5, 6-4
LINE: Louisville by 4 1/2
ON THE AIR: ESPN; WTIC-AM 1080
UP NEXT: Saturday at Syracuse, 1
Shabazz Napier G 6-0 So.: Made 3 of last 29 FG attempts
Jeremy Lamb G 6-5 So.: 8-for-27 from field in past 2 games
Ryan Boatright G 5-10 Fr.: Team-high 19 pts, 5 asts, 4 steals vs. Seton Hall
Tyler Olander F 6-9 So.: 6 pts, 3 rebs vs. Seton Hall
Andre Drummond C 6-10 Fr.: Tied career-high with 7 blocks vs. Seton Hall
Niels Giffey G/F 6-7 So.: Scoreless in past 2 games
Alex Oriakhi F 6-9 Jr.: 10 pts, 8 rebs vs. Seton Hall
DeAndre Daniels F 6-8 Fr.: Played 3 mins vs. Seton Hall
Roscoe Smith F 6-8 So.: 4 pts, 3 rebs vs. Seton Hall
Peyton Siva G 6-0 Jr.: 8.5 ppg, 5.6 apg
Russ Smith G 6-0 So.: 12.4 ppg, 2.6 spg
Kyle Kuric G/F 6-4 Sr.: 13.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Chane Behanan F 6-6 Fr.: 11-for-12 from field, 23 pts vs. Rutgers
Gorgui Dieng C 6-11 So.: 3.5 bpg ranks 1st in Big East, 5th in nation
Chris Smith G 6-2 Sr.: 8 pts, 13 rebs, 6 asts, 3 steals vs. Rutgers
Jared Swopshire F 6-8 Jr.: 3.8 ppg, 3 rpg
DRUMMOND VS. DIENG: Gorgui Dieng averages 3.5 blocks, but he’s giving up 40 pounds to Andre Drummond down low. This could be a terrific game for Drummond to showcase himself against a top-notch defender.
FRONTCOURT PLAYING TIME: After a strong performance against Seton Hall, will Alex Oriakhi continue to earn minutes? Or will Blaney opt for a Tyler Olander and Roscoe Smith rotation at the power forward spot?
GETTING DEFENSIVE: Turnovers, a non-issue in the past few games, could come back to bite the Huskies if they’re careless with the ball against Louisville’s suffocating perimeter defense.
– KEVIN DUFFY